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Ross Perry laughs just after hurling a snowball at other students participating in a large group snowball fight in front of Nelson dining hall during Ohio University's second snow day of the semester on February 3, 2014. 

Blizzards and blistering cold: the only way to cancel class at OU

Though a snow day is unlikely this year, OU will prioritize keeping its key buildings open if it has to call off classes.

Though last year’s winter may have led some to see snow days as common, Ohio University will need more than unpleasant weather to cancel classes.

President Roderick McDavis or his appointed designee are the only ones who have authority to close the main campus, the satellite campuses and regional teaching sites. According to the university's official procedures, McDavis or his designee closes classes if there is a wind chill twenty degrees below zero or a Level 3 snow emergency.

“The primary concern for Ohio University leadership in all cases of possible delay or closure is the safety of University students, faculty and staff,” Katie Quaranta, OU spokeswoman, said in an email.

In the instance of cancelled classes, OU will prioritize keeping open Baker University Center, Alden Library, Ping Recreation Center, Hudson Health Center, Parks Hall and Dining Hall facilities.

When discussing whether classes should be cancelled, OU executive administrators consult various university officials and the Ohio University Police Department.

Text message alerts and email notifications will notify students of potential delays and closures, while also detailing the University buildings to remain open, Quaranta said.

Information regarding an Athens campus closure will be posted on the University homepage, the official University Facebook and Twitter profiles and the OHIO Alert webpage.

“A number of factors are weighed when considering the cancellation of University classes or a winter weather-related closure,” Quaranta said.  

These factors include anticipated temperature, wind chill, potential travel hazards for commuter students and parking implications for campus staff and students.

Before last year, the last time OU closed because of weather was in January 2009.


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